Security News

April 6, 2021

Are You One of the 533M People Who Got Facebooked?

This post was originally published on this siteNe’er-do-wells leaked personal data — including phone numbers — for some 553 million Facebook users this week. Facebook says the data was collected before 2020 when it changed things to prevent such information from being scraped from profiles. To my mind, this just reinforces the need to remove mobile phone numbers from all of your online accounts wherever feasible. Meanwhile, if you’re a Facebook product user and want to learn if your data was leaked, there are easy ways to find out. The HaveIBeenPwned project, which collects and analyzes hundreds of database dumps […]
April 5, 2021

Ransom Gangs Emailing Victim Customers for Leverage

This post was originally published on this siteSome of the top ransomware gangs are deploying a new pressure tactic to push more victim organizations into paying an extortion demand: Emailing the victim’s customers and partners directly, warning that their data will be leaked to the dark web unless they can convince the victim firm to pay up. This letter is from the Clop ransomware gang, putting pressure on a recent victim named on Clop’s dark web shaming site. “Good day! If you received this letter, you are a customer, buyer, partner or employee of [victim],” the missive reads. “The company […]
April 4, 2021

Ubiquiti All But Confirms Breach Response Iniquity

This post was originally published on this siteFor four days this past week, Internet-of-Things giant Ubiquiti failed to respond to requests for comment on a whistleblower’s allegations the company had massively downplayed a “catastrophic” two-month breach ending in January to save its stock price, and that Ubiquiti’s insinuation that a third-party was to blame was a fabrication. I was happy to add their eventual public response to the top of Tuesday’s story on the whistleblower’s claims, but their statement deserves a post of its own because it actually confirms and reinforces those claims. Ubiquiti’s IoT gear includes things like WiFi […]
April 1, 2021

New KrebsOnSecurity Mobile-Friendly Site

This post was originally published on this siteDear Readers, this has been long overdue, but at last I give you a more responsive, mobile-friendly version of KrebsOnSecurity. We tried to keep the visual changes to a minimum and focus on a simple theme that presents information in a straightforward, easy-to-read format. Please bear with us over the next few days as we hunt down the gremlins in the gears. We were shooting for responsive (fast) and uncluttered. Hopefully, we achieved that and this new design will render well in whatever device you use to view it. If something looks amiss, […]
March 30, 2021

Whistleblower: Ubiquiti Breach “Catastrophic”

This post was originally published on this siteOn Jan. 11, Ubiquiti Inc. [NYSE:UI] — a major vendor of cloud-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as routers, network video recorders and security cameras — disclosed that a breach involving a third-party cloud provider had exposed customer account credentials. Now a source who participated in the response to that breach alleges Ubiquiti massively downplayed a “catastrophic” incident to minimize the hit to its stock price, and that the third-party cloud provider claim was a fabrication. A security professional at Ubiquiti who helped the company respond to the two-month breach beginning in […]
March 28, 2021

No, I Did Not Hack Your MS Exchange Server

This post was originally published on this siteNew data suggests someone has compromised more than 21,000 Microsoft Exchange Server email systems worldwide and infected them with malware that invokes both KrebsOnSecurity and Yours Truly by name. Let’s just get this out of the way right now: It wasn’t me. The Shadowserver Foundation, a nonprofit that helps network owners identify and fix security threats, says it has found 21,248 different Exchange servers which appear to be compromised by a backdoor and communicating with brian[.]krebsonsecurity[.]top (NOT a safe domain, hence the hobbling). Shadowserver has been tracking wave after wave of attacks targeting […]
March 23, 2021

Phish Leads to Breach at Calif. State Controller

This post was originally published on this siteA phishing attack last week gave attackers access to email and files at the California State Controller’s Office (SCO), an agency responsible for handling more than $100 billion in public funds each year. The phishers had access for more than 24 hours, and sources tell KrebsOnSecurity the intruders used that time to steal Social Security numbers and sensitive files on thousands of state workers, and to send targeted phishing messages to at least 9,000 other workers and their contacts. A notice of breach posted by the California State Controller’s Office. In a “Notice […]
March 22, 2021

RedTorch Formed from Ashes of Norse Corp.

This post was originally published on this siteRemember Norse Corp., the company behind the interactive “pew-pew” cyber attack map shown in the image blow? Norse imploded rather suddenly in 2016 following a series of managerial missteps and funding debacles. Now, the founders of Norse have launched a new company with a somewhat different vision: RedTorch, which for the past two years has marketed a mix of services to high end celebrity clients, including spying and anti-spying tools and services. A snapshot of Norse’s semi-live attack map, circa Jan. 2016. Norse’s attack map was everywhere for several years, and even became […]
March 17, 2021

Fintech Giant Fiserv Used Unclaimed Domain

This post was originally published on this siteIf you sell Web-based software for a living and ship code that references an unregistered domain name, you are asking for trouble. But when the same mistake is made by a Fortune 500 company, the results can range from costly to disastrous. Here’s the story of one such goof committed by Fiserv [NASDAQ:FISV], a $6 billion firm that provides online banking software and other technology solutions to thousands of financial institutions. In November 2020, KrebsOnSecurity heard from security researcher Abraham Vegh, who noticed something odd while inspecting an email from his financial institution. […]
March 16, 2021

Can We Stop Pretending SMS Is Secure Now?

This post was originally published on this siteSMS text messages were already the weakest link securing just about anything online, mainly because there are tens of thousands of people (many of them low-paid mobile store employees) who can be tricked or bribed into swapping control over a mobile phone number to someone else. Now we’re learning about an entire ecosystem of companies that anyone could use to silently intercept text messages intended for other mobile users. Security researcher “Lucky225” worked with Vice.com’s Joseph Cox to intercept Cox’s incoming text messages with his permission. Lucky225 showed how anyone could do the […]
March 15, 2021

WeLeakInfo Leaked Customer Payment Info

This post was originally published on this siteA little over a year ago, the FBI and law enforcement partners overseas seized WeLeakInfo[.]com, a wildly popular service that sold access to more than 12 billion usernames and passwords stolen from thousands of hacked websites. In an ironic turn of events, a lapsed domain registration tied to WeLeakInfo let someone plunder and publish account data on 24,000 customers who paid to access the service with a credit card. For several years, WeLeakInfo was the largest of several services selling access to hacked passwords. Prosecutors said it had indexed, searchable information from more […]
March 9, 2021

Microsoft Patch Tuesday, March 2021 Edition

This post was originally published on this siteOn the off chance you were looking for more security to-dos from Microsoft today…the company released software updates to plug more than 82 security flaws in Windows and other supported software. Ten of these earned Microsoft’s “critical” rating, meaning they can be exploited by malware or miscreants with little or no help from users. Top of the heap this month (apart from the ongoing, global Exchange Server mass-compromise) is a patch for an Internet Explorer bug that is seeing active exploitation. The IE weakness — CVE-2021-26411 — affects both IE11 and newer EdgeHTML-based […]
March 9, 2021

Warning the World of a Ticking Time Bomb

This post was originally published on this siteGlobally, hundreds of thousand of organizations running Exchange email servers from Microsoft just got mass-hacked, including at least 30,000 victims in the United States. Each hacked server has been retrofitted with a “web shell” backdoor that gives the bad guys total, remote control, the ability to read all email, and easy access to the victim’s other computers. Researchers are now racing to identify, alert and help victims, and hopefully prevent further mayhem. On Mar. 5, KrebsOnSecurity broke the news that at least 30,000 organizations and hundreds of thousands globally had been hacked. The […]
March 8, 2021

A Basic Timeline of the Exchange Mass-Hack

This post was originally published on this siteSometimes when a complex story takes us by surprise or knocks us back on our heels, it pays to revisit the events in a somewhat linear fashion. Here’s a brief timeline of what we know leading up to last week’s mass-hack, when hundreds of thousands of Microsoft Exchange Server systems got compromised and seeded with a powerful backdoor Trojan horse program. When did Microsoft find out about attacks on previously unknown vulnerabilities in Exchange? Pressed for a date when it first became aware of the problem, Microsoft told KrebsOnSecurity it was initially notified […]
March 5, 2021

At Least 30,000 U.S. Organizations Newly Hacked Via Holes in Microsoft’s Email Software

This post was originally published on this siteAt least 30,000 organizations across the United States — including a significant number of small businesses, towns, cities and local governments — have over the past few days been hacked by an unusually aggressive Chinese cyber espionage unit that’s focused on stealing email from victim organizations, multiple sources tell KrebsOnSecurity. The espionage group is exploiting four newly-discovered flaws in Microsoft Exchange Server email software, and has seeded hundreds of thousands of victim organizations worldwide with tools that give the attackers total, remote control over affected systems. On March 2, Microsoft released emergency security […]
March 4, 2021

Three Top Russian Cybercrime Forums Hacked

This post was originally published on this siteOver the past few weeks, three of the longest running and most venerated Russian-language online forums serving thousands of experienced cybercriminals have been hacked. In two of the intrusions, the attackers made off with the forums’ user databases, including email and Internet addresses and hashed passwords. Members of all three forums are worried the incidents could serve as a virtual Rosetta Stone for connecting the real-life identities of the same users across multiple crime forums. References to the leaked Mazafaka crime forum database were posted online in the past 48 hours. On Tuesday, […]
March 2, 2021

Microsoft: Chinese Cyberspies Used 4 Exchange Server Flaws to Plunder Emails

This post was originally published on this siteMicrosoft Corp. today released software updates to plug four critical security holes that attackers have been using to plunder email communications at companies that use its Exchange Server products. The company says all four flaws are being actively exploited as part of a complex attack chain deployed by a previously unidentified Chinese cyber espionage group. The software giant typically releases security updates on the second Tuesday of each month, but it occasionally deviates from that schedule when addressing active attacks that target newly identified and serious vulnerabilities in its products. The patches released […]
March 2, 2021

Payroll/HR Giant PrismHR Hit by Ransomware?

This post was originally published on this sitePrismHR, a company that sells technology used by other firms to help more than 80,000 small businesses manage payroll, benefits, and human resources, has suffered what appears to be an ongoing ransomware attack that is disrupting many of its services. Hopkinton, Mass.-based PrismHR handles everything from payroll processing and human resources to health insurance and tax forms for hundreds of “professional employer organizations” (PEOs) that serve more than two million employees. The company processes more than $80 billion payroll payments annually on behalf of PEOs and their clients. Countless small businesses turn to […]
March 1, 2021

Is Your Browser Extension a Botnet Backdoor?

This post was originally published on this siteA company that rents out access to more than 10 million Web browsers so that clients can hide their true Internet addresses has built its network by paying browser extension makers to quietly include its code in their creations. This story examines the lopsided economics of extension development, and why installing an extension can be such a risky proposition. Singapore-based Infatica[.]io is part of a growing industry of shadowy firms trying to woo developers who maintain popular browser extensions — desktop and mobile device software add-ons available for download from Apple, Google, Microsoft […]
February 25, 2021

How $100M in Jobless Claims Went to Inmates

This post was originally published on this siteThe U.S. Labor Department’s inspector general said this week that roughly $100 million in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims were paid in 2020 to criminals who are already in jail. That’s a tiny share of the estimated tens of billions of dollars in jobless benefits states have given to identity thieves in the past year. To help reverse that trend, many states are now turning to a little-known private company called ID.me. This post examines some of what that company is seeing in its efforts to stymie unemployment fraud. These prisoners tried to apply […]
February 23, 2021

Checkout Skimmers Powered by Chip Cards

This post was originally published on this siteEasily the most sophisticated skimming devices made for hacking terminals at retail self-checkout lanes are a new breed of PIN pad overlay combined with a flexible, paper-thin device that fits inside the terminal’s chip reader slot. What enables these skimmers to be so slim? They draw their power from the low-voltage current that gets triggered when a chip-based card is inserted. As a result, they do not require external batteries, and can remain in operation indefinitely. A point-of-sale skimming device that consists of a PIN pad overlay (top) and a smart card skimmer […]
February 19, 2021

Mexican Politician Removed Over Alleged Ties to Romanian ATM Skimmer Gang

This post was originally published on this siteThe leader of Mexico’s Green Party has been removed from office following allegations that he received money from a Romanian ATM skimmer gang that stole hundreds of millions of dollars from tourists visiting Mexico’s top tourist destinations over the past five years. The scandal is the latest fallout stemming from a three-part investigation into the organized crime group by KrebsOnSecurity in 2015. One of the Bluetooth-enabled PIN pads pulled from a compromised ATM in Mexico. The two components on the left are legitimate parts of the machine. The fake PIN pad made to […]
February 17, 2021

U.S. Indicts North Korean Hackers in Theft of $200 Million

This post was originally published on this siteThe U.S. Justice Department today unsealed indictments against three men accused of working with the North Korean regime to carry out some of the most damaging cybercrime attacks over the past decade, including the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures, the global WannaCry ransomware contagion of 2017, and the theft of roughly $200 million and attempted theft of more than $1.2 billion from banks and other victims worldwide. Investigators with the DOJ, U.S. Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security told reporters on Wednesday the trio’s activities involved extortion, phishing, direct attacks on financial […]
February 15, 2021

Bluetooth Overlay Skimmer That Blocks Chip

This post was originally published on this siteAs a total sucker for anything skimming-related, I was interested to hear from a reader working security for a retail chain in the United States who recently found Bluetooth-enabled skimming devices placed over top of payment card terminals at several stores. Interestingly, these skimmers interfered with the terminal’s ability to read chip-based cards, forcing customers to swipe the stripe instead. The payment card skimmer overlay transmitted stolen data via Bluetooth, physically blocked chip-based transactions, and included a PIN pad overlay. Here’s a closer look at the electronic gear jammed into these overlay skimmers. […]
February 10, 2021

What’s most interesting about the Florida water system hack? That we heard about it at all.

This post was originally published on this siteStories about computer security tend to go viral when they bridge the vast divide between geeks and luddites, and this week’s news about a hacker who tried to poison a Florida town’s water supply was understandably front-page material. But for security nerds who’ve been warning about this sort of thing for ages, the most surprising aspect of the incident seems to be that we learned about it at all. Spend a few minutes searching Twitter, Reddit or any number of other social media sites and you’ll find countless examples of researchers posting proof […]